Carrefour Italia has transferred the management of its stores in Sicily to local food distributor Centro Distribuzione Supermercati (CDS), a unit of Caltanisseta-based Romano Group.
As of 1 November, the supermarkets in Palermo and Trapani, with 474 employees and the Carini distribution centre, are now formally part of a new entity called Ica Market.
CDS has been a franchisee of Carrefour since 2002, managing several stores with the insignia Carrefour Market and Carefour Express throughout Sicily. According to the new franchise agreement signed with CDS, the Carrefour brand will remain on the front of the stores for at least three years.
Earlier this year, Carrefour announced 77 redundancies in 21 Carrefour Market stores in Palermo and Trapani. At the time, the company motivated the decision with the “lingering crisis” that has hit its entire retail network in Sicily”, leading to a drop in gross sales of around €29 million in the last four years and a loss of 1.4 million customers since 2010.
Separately, Coop Sicilia is planning the closure of six supermarkets in Sicily (located in Pachino, Avola, Mazara del Vallo, Pozzallo and Scicli) by the end of the year. According to the retailer, the turnover achieved in the stores “was lower than expected and the investments made, due to the current unfavourable global economy”.
However, Coop Sicilia has confirmed over €5 million in investments over the next two years in the network, which currently consists of over 150 stores.